ISBN: 9781925681079
Audience: Literary Fiction
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number of Pages: 327
Published: October 2017
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Dimensions: 21cm x 14cm
Edition Number: 2

Marty Culhane is heading out of town. He has lost his girlfriend Tilda and their new born child in a collision with a long haul truck on an Australian country road as they are on their way to show the new born to Tilda’s parents. Marty escapes to London. Things are not working out as planned, the various attempts at redemption, of reconciliation, gives way to the idea of heading somewhere as long as it’s not where he is.

While this is happening, his brother, Fergus, returns with his family from a holiday, to discover his successful corporate career at a crossroads, a boss who no longer feels the need to rely on him, and his son Toby, who he had predestined for sporting glory, with constant headaches that threaten every version of his own predetermined plan.

It’s a story that doesn’t turn a blind eye to human nature, revealing struggles with alienation everywhere you look. It’s people attempting to come to terms with plans that don’t quite work out and trying to find a way through.

Floyd Collins

Floyd Collins sat on the hood of his Dodge putting on his walking shoes. The “hood” is a much more appropriate name to describe the flap that opens up to the engine than what the English would refer to as the “bonnet”, which is what you put on the head of a one year old English girl who’ll grow up to marry a gentleman of the aristocracy. Besides, it’s an American car; Floyd has maintained the original left hand drive and it drives like an American car should, all muscle and energy and James Dean swagger with the packet of Lucky Strikes under the turned up sleeve on the t-shirt.

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The Boy with the Broken Arm

One wet, cold September night some years ago now, a boy was born. It was late, his father, a veterinary surgeon, was out tending to another birth, a cow, in a time when it was hardly expected that a father would be in attendance for the birth of his child, he would be much more likely to be asleep, or having drinks with friends, than with his wife about to give birth.

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King & Webber

Webber and King were walking towards the one cafe on the main road of Grey’s River, it offered what appeared to be the best chance of a decent breakfast.

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Lulu sat on the edge of her bed and contemplated it, before she started slashing. And so the violence began, controlled violence though it was, down the arms, across the chest, down the back of legs; none of it designed to inflict real damage but enough to draw attention to the inalienable fact that Lulu wanted someone to listen to her. She lay down on her bed, with the razor blade between the bed and herself and gently allowed it to penetrate the skin of her shoulders as well, just to emphasise the point. She then sat on the edge of her bed and stared at the razor, with it between her legs, and decided that she’d had enough, for now.

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Theodore Claw

What was meant to be an evening of conviviality amongst friends and acquaintances amidst the deep furnishings, large squashy cushions, paintings and dark woollen wall hangings from Turkey in the living room lined by book shelves containing manuscripts and novels, texts and biographies of those who pleaded to have their stories told, along with the red wines and cheeses of the local providors for measured complimentary consumption and the lives of those living their tangents of intellectual depth and meaning, their day jobs ranging from sitting in cubicles muttering onto spreadsheets, to manual realities sprung from twenty years of schooling to finally be put on the day shift, turned into something else when a randomly chosen line from a randomly chosen page from a randomly chosen book pulled from the shelf behind them somehow turned this gathering of like minds into a sirocco of subdued antipathy and enveloping rage.

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My Mother Played Liszt

My mother played Liszt. Not the transposed for modern players Liszt but the original bastard’s manuscripts that he didn’t want women to play, or anyone else for that matter, so betoken was he to his own musical genius. She was taken, my mother, I think, by his obsession with making the piano, the instrument that she devoted her life to, the life force of the musical world. She tackled Dante and Faust as Liszt might have done. Stubborn old cow (if you’re allowed to call your mother an ‘old cow’).

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